Brooks Run Warm Apparel Review: Thaw You Can Ask For
LINDSAY: Buckle up, guys, because we’ve got a jam-packed review ahead, and it’s just in time for winter temperatures to roll around. Brooks Run Warm Collection is here, and it’s fire. (If you didn’t catch it, I was trying to make a pun on a word that could mean physically hot but also trendy).
I had the fortunate pleasure of trying out three pieces from the collection: the Shield Hybrid Vest 2.0, the Notch Thermal Hoodie 2.0, and the Momentum Thermal Tight. I know Robbe is reading this and wondering if I made a typo because I said it was a “fortunate pleasure,” but I kid you not. This fit is one I will be wearing quite often in the coming months.
These pieces were just as effective together as a whole outfit as they were apart, and there’s a lot to say about each, so let’s get right to it.
RENALDO: If I had to pick a personal kryptonite, it would have to be cold weather. The adrenaline and endorphins I get from a good long run get deflated pretty quickly when I can’t feel my fingers anymore. Thankfully, Brooks has come through to save the day with their Run Warm Collection — a new gear drop for the winter months. Always keeping it nice and comfy, Brooks gave us an assortment of gear to try out for these often brutal winters here in Baltimore. My loadout is the Notch Thermal Longsleeve 2.0, Momentum Thermal Tights, and Shield Hybrid Jacket 2.0.
Did Brooks finally warm my frozen heart above 32 degrees?
Let’s take a look.
LINDSAY: The Brooks Run Warm Shield Hybrid Vest now comes in two colorways — black and copper — with less geometry in the front panel stitching. It’s a little more aesthetically pleasing if you will. It’s also quite shapely — a bit tapered at the waist and landing right below the belly button for a slim fit. It’s not bulky but does add a layer of warmth. I like that it’s light enough to wear on cooler Fall or Spring days without getting too hot, but it can also serve as a layer under a heavier coat because it’s not puffy.
As far as storage goes, there’s a pocket with a zipper inside the left panel that’s large enough for a phone and other essentials. There are also two loose, open pockets on the outside of each side panel, and I love these for holding my gloves and hat when I get warm during a run. Easy access to gels here, too.
Brooks did get rid of the front pocket zippers on the 2.0 version, which sucks. I’m not sure what the logic was behind that, so keep in mind that there is only one storage pocket with a zipper, requiring unzipping the vest to get to it. They also had a smaller pocket for headphones on the 1.0 version, which is no longer there. The side panel pockets are pretty large but also loose, so they aren’t meant to hold keys during a run; those will have to fit in the one zippered pocket. Clearly, some of the storage technicalities require a bit of strategy but nothing that would deter me from picking this one up.
The only thing that makes me cringe is that $115 price point, but it’s comparable to other options out there of the same caliber, so it just is what it is.
PRICE: $115Shop Shield Hybrid Vest 2.0
RENALDO: Going with the less is more approach, the Brooks Shield Hybrid Jacket does everything you’d want your outer layer to do when running in colder conditions. It has well-insulated front padding with a zipper and snap buttons for a secure fit. Combine that with a breathable polyester inner liner, and you’ve got the one-two punch needed to feel warm and protected on the run without feeling like you’re overheating.
The elasticity of the sleeves is also great, allowing your arms to move freely and making removal of the jacket an easy feat even when a little damp. There are only two pockets on this one, but inside each pocket is an even smaller, more elastic pocket which is always nice.
While I think this is a great jacket, you can get a lot of what it offers from other running jackets on the market with more bells and whistles. The lack of a hood is a little bit of an odd choice as well, given how this is for the fall and winter seasons. Just a little too annoying for me, to be honest.
PRICE: $165Shop Shield Hybrid Jacket
LINDSAY: This is a must-have staple Run Warm Collection piece for the colder weather. Brooks thought of just about everything. Lightweight and warm, this piece works as a base layer or on its own in all climates. The lining is a soft, ribbed fabric that wicks away sweat rather than holding on to it, so you don’t get that chill after sweating on a run.
I’m going to jump right to my favorite part of this collection: the fold-over hand mitts. Brilliant. Many of us have debated whether or not to bring gloves, and when our hands start sweating, we regret choosing the former. Problem solved.
There are also thumb holes and wrist holes for watches. I’ve noticed on some long sleeves with watch holes the hole is only on the left arm. Brooks was all-inclusive and has one on the right wrist, too, for those of us goofy right-wrist watchers. Say that ten times fast. Lastly, there is one zippered pocket on the side for keys and a wide hood that stays in place even in windy conditions.
It’s worth noting that the only pocket on the hoodie is the zippered side pocket. It’s not big or secure enough to fit a phone, so I mostly used it for keys, headphones, and money. A gel was a bit too heavy for it, in my opinion, but it does fit. The hoodie is not compressive either, so on those crisp, cold days, I preferred to wear a tank top underneath to cut down on the draft. The first version was a bit more tapered at the waist, and I would’ve liked to see that stick around.
PRICE: $95Shop Notch Thermal Hoodie
RENALDO: Brooks’ Run Warm Notch Thermal Longsleve 2.0 is the real star of the show for me. Extremely light while stretching and conforming to the torso, the Notch Thermal Longsleeve provides excellent insulation while wicking sweat with its ribbed design. It keeps you nice and dry when getting in a good workout in some harsher winter conditions.
What really wowed me about this thermal was all the additions you usually don’t expect on a base layer. There are thumbholes for even better insulation on the hands (Thank you, Brooks). There’s a wrist-hole on each arm for watches — it’s my first experience with running gear that has that feature, and boy, is it a welcome addition.
Brooks even added a small side pocket that’s large enough for keys, Identification, or a couple of gels. Oh, and don’t forget a small elastic tassel on the back collar of the shirt to hang it up after a really hard and sweaty effort. It’s a clutch item to have for your winter running.
PRICE: $95Shop Notch Thermal Longsleeve
LINDSAY: I’m a big fan of the soft, DriLayer Threshold fabric on these tights. It’s buttery soft, warm, and sweat-wicking without having that shine that most cold-weather gear has. It’s also quite compressive while still maintaining a bit of stretch. These would be a breeze to get on if it weren’t for the tapered ankles. But I’m keeping the tapered ankles as a positive because it helped keep the tights in place and the legs warm.
The big question for women running in tights is whether or not they fall down. I’m happy to report these tights only shifted slightly on a run. Not enough to bother me, but there is a waistband cinch if it becomes problematic for you.
However, I don’t know what phone they used in the advertising photo shoot, but these pants do not hold a phone. In any of the three pockets. The model has a phone slipping into the back pocket, but if that’s a normal-size phone, these pants need to come with a user manual. The two side pockets taper pretty quickly, so that’s a no-go. It’s also my only beef with these pants, so there you have it.
RENALDO: First off, POCKETS. Only two, but you’ve got options. You have your basic elastic pocket on the right, which is big enough to fit your phone, while the left pocket is a smaller zipper pocket big enough for a wallet, gel, keys, etc.
The Momentum Thermal Tight is another hit in the collection that sets out to do what it says it does: keep you warm and ready on the run. They’re soft to the touch, with a velvety smooth fleece lining on the inside and a drawstring waistband to stay nice and secure, these tights don’t disappoint in the performance department.
Though these tights have pockets, I’ve never seen a tight with ONE pocket for phones and ONE pocket for smaller items. Then, there’s the drawstring. I didn’t know I could ever have a problem with a drawstring, but this one felt like an afterthought. Even after one simple knot, the drawstring would get extremely taught that it was a little hard to untie. The fleece lining can also get a little grippy when pulling these bad boys on. All that can make these tights kinda a bummer when you get right down to it.
PRICE: $95Shop Momentum Thermal Tight – Men Shop Momentum Thermal Tight – Women
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